These refugees, wherever they come from, are our brothers and sisters

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
22 November 2021

Forget the NHS crisis, the social care crisis, or Covid hospitalisations!  We're told that the "national emergency" is a "surge" in asylum-seekers crossing the Channel in small boats!

    So far this year, 25,700 people have arrived on the Kent coast - apparently 3x as many as last year.  But regardless of how the media portrays it, this is a very small number.  There are more than a million job vacancies in Britain, including over 200,000 across the NHS/social care - there's plenty of work that needs doing here!

    The latest official figures show Britain has negative net migration - more people leaving than arriving. And when it comes to offering asylum, proportionately Britain offers sanctuary to far fewer people than Germany, Spain, Greece or France.

    So, for this, the 6th richest county in the world, it's no real problem. Of course, it may be a problem for "Brexit" Johnson who said he'd "take back control" of many things, including the "border"...  having blamed EU migration for the ills his capitalist friends bestow on the rest of us.

 And now the government is using its large resources to punish refugees for arriving here. Patel wants to build new camps to imprison them. In July, she spent £54m on police patrols on beaches and aerial surveillance. Yet there are 55,000 asylum seekers who've been waiting for a decision for more than three years, and who cannot work in the meantime!  There's no plan to sort this out, however!

    The Nationalities and Borders Bill currently going through parliament further criminalises migrants, making it nigh impossible to claim asylum, unless already "offered" a place - and for that, they'd have to be in a camp in a poor, war-torn country. Politicians say they want to stop migrants taking "dangerous" journeys, but they've made it impossible to get here by any other means!

    These reactionary MPs wish that they could turn the clock back and stop all migration, full-stop. But today, borders can no longer have any meaning. Whether it's poverty, climate change, or war, thanks to a ruthlessly unequal world capitalist system, people have to flee for their very lives. And they are our brothers and sisters; our fellow workers. They have more right to a place here beside us than the bosses and their politicians - whose policies are killing us all.